Autumn glory in the Appalachian Mountains

There is something about the Appalachian Mountains that soothes the soul. Driving through them is akin to answering the siren's call of nature. Today, the mountains are cloaked in the splendor of an autumn evening. The brilliant reds and gleaming golden leaves herald the transition from the hot summer into the coolness of winter. I gaze upon the beauty of the Appalachian Mountains as I drive into the interstate 40 in North Carolina and am at once touched and inspired by the beauty.

Fall leavesI am reminded that Jesus said if we do not praise Him, then the very rocks will cry out. And, they do. Looking at the Appalachian Mountains in North Carolina, it seems as though the trees are crying out. Each tree created individually, yet standing together as a giant chorus sing their own rendition of "It is Well with My Soul".

I drive through a road, cut into the side of a towering mountain. The cliff face rises as though it can touch the sky. I see rocks on the roadside, rocks being replaced, the grinding sound of equipment and roar of the road are a blur against my window as I pass by. It is a brief interruption in the otherwise quiet of the journey.

Pink rosesA rest area sign calls me to pause and I do. I sit on a bench at the North Carolina Welcome Center. The Saturday canopy provides a respite on sunny days.Today, I bask in the shadow of the mountain. Flowers at the rest area are in full bloom. It is as though they know their days are numbered and have chosen to go out in full glory. Birds twitter softly, a light breeze carries the sound. It is a good moment.

Yellow flowersA car pulls up and children, full of the energy of youth and of being in the car too long, begin piling out of the car as if to escape confinement. Tablets and phones wave in the air. A harried mom and dad get out to stand in front of the minivan pondering the miles that lay before them.

They are heading to the beach they say. It is fall break for only a few more days. They need the break they tell me, as the kids rush up. Mom leaves kids with Dad for a few minutes then returns.

We chat for a minute. Then Dad leans back stretching and looks at the mountains. Mom does too. Together they stand for a minute, they too seem to be taking in the wonder. The kids notice and comes running up to see what's wrong. In their busy high tech world it doesn't occur to them to sit, be still, and see.

Mom sees this, and Dad. They exchange looks and Mom nods. Groaning kids put their tablets in the car and together they stomp down to follow dad down the side of the hill to the picnic area.

The mom looks my way and gives a small wave. She says that she wonders if the kids realized that they are on vacation or what that actually means.

We talk about the busyness of life, what that means for families and how adults and kids don't take time for each other even when they are on a trip. I said that as parents it's our job to teach them. She nods in agreement and says, that lesson can begin right now.

I couldn't agree more.


Sanofi recalls Epinephrine Injector. Take action now.

I've been there and it's terrifying. Owners of epinephrine injectors need to check your pens at this website now. Thank goodness a friend sent me a Facebook message about Sanofi epinephrine Injector recall. This pen is used to safe the life of someone who is having an acute emergency reaction. You may have heard of someone having a special shot in case of bee stings? The epinephrine injector is that medication.

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Her Facebook message to me is the first that I have heard about the recall. You can read the information about the Sanofi epinepherine injector recall online. This is terrifying news for anyone who may need this shot. I speak from experience.

I got caught up in an epinephrine pen recall in 1998. As with this recall, there potentially isn't/wasn't enough medication. Thank goodness that word spreads online now. I didn't hear about the problem until it was too late.

Nothing much happened when I got into onions once and had to use a recalled pen. Hubby had to call EMS. They came, took one glance, and injected me with  epinephrine from their stock. I improved quickly, but still required a hospital stay. We checked the pen after EMS told us about the recall. Sure enough, that epi pen had been recalled.

Read the Sanofi website to learn what to do with your epinephrine injector. Take it from someone who has been there. Don't gamble with your life or that of a loved one. Check out the website now.


The rich man and heaven. Sermon based on Mark 10

On Sunday, we talked about the rich man who asked Jesus about eternal life. The answer wasn't what he wanted to hear. The rich man lived in material wealth. He would have owned fields, jewels, camels and you name it. Our modern day term for his belongings is "stuff" and he was very proud of what he owned.

Historic Methodist Church
Methodist Church: Cades Cove
Some of his wealth that he accumulated may have been heirloom pieces from previous family, or some of his wealth may have been the result of his own work. We aren't told that. We are just told that he had a lot of "stuff".

He went to Jesus asking about eternal life and walked away empty. Jesus told him that even though the rich man had many material possessions, that he lacked one thing. I can imagine the rich ruler thinking "What is it so that I may buy it?" But, Jesus told him to sell what he had and then, to come back and follow him.

Instead, the rich young ruler decided the price was too great and walked away from eternal life.  He simply loved his equivalent of sparkly rubies, diamonds and expensive china to give them up. Eternal life ceased to matter to him when he was called upon to act on his faith. It wasn't the work of giving away his possessions that would allow him to enter the kingdom. It was that act would be an outward sign of his faith. Instead, his desire to keep what he owned demonstrated his lack of faith. And it was that lack, that would condemn him.

Are we guilty of doing the same? Do we sometimes let our "stuff" (cars, jewelry, MP3 players, tablets, crowded schedules and other signs of wealth.) get in the way of our relationship with Jesus? Can we overcome it?

This free podcast may help answer those questions. The Rich Man and Salvation